Healthy relationships in organizations don’t happen automatically, they result from valuing and practicing specific core values. Whether it is a church, business, or family, wise leaders have a plan to increase the likelihood of harmonious connection with and between those they lead.
My book Help! I Am a Pastor has 80 core values for church leaders. Here are six of those that will help leave a testimony of healthy relationships behind you. Even though I am referring to church situations in these core values, you will be able to take the principles and apply them in other environments.
- I embrace seasons of building trust in the eyes of those I lead – In any ministry assignment I have, one of my first priorities is to behave in a trustworthy manner. I realize if people do not trust me as their leader, I will need to manipulate and use fear to control them in order for them to follow my leadership. Supporting verses: 1 Peter 3:1, Acts 27:10,11,21-44.
- I build “bridges” in my teachings to help people move into the deeper things of God – I honor people’s need to understand the scriptural support for what I am saying, as well as my personal testimony concerning the emphasis I am making. When I share truths that challenge old paradigms, I strategically say something like, “This is what I am not saying…,” to help people mentally grasp what I am saying. Supporting verses: Acts 17:11, 1 Corinthians 9:20.
- I believe people’s negative qualities are usually immature characteristics of positive qualities in their life – I identify the positive side of the negative traits I see in people’s lives. As much as possible, I affirm the good part of their tendencies. As I do this, it increases my heart connection with them, and it increases the likelihood I can help bring any needed adjustments in their lives. Supporting verses: Matthew 26:35, Genesis 37:11.
- I pursue relationships with the strong influencers in places I am called to lead – I want to know the heart of the people influencing our ministry, whether they are official leaders or strong personalities without a ministry title. I also want them to get to know my heart. I realize it is not wisdom to empower people to influence our ministry when there is not a good heart connection between them and the church leadership team.
- I regularly educate our people about our ministry’s philosophy and process of decision making – I do this especially with matters that could be controversial or confusing. As much as possible, I share the behind-the-scenes processes for decision making and the development of ministry philosophies for crucial areas of church life. I have a great ability to communicate this in sermons and in other settings. This sharing helps people see the bigger picture for what is happening. Supporting verses: 1 Corinthians 14, Acts 6:2-6.
- I tell those I lead who they are much more than I tell them what to do – I understand it is very difficult for people to do what they do not believe they are; therefore, I spend more time telling them who they are in Christ than I do telling them what to do as Christians. Just as the angel unlocked Gideon’s future by telling him who he really was (even though he was not yet experiencing that), I do the same for my people. Supporting verses: Romans 4:17-19, Judges 6:12.
As God now which of these six core values you are to focus on in this season. It will make a great difference.
For more on this, please listen to my podcast.
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.